First Impressions – Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (Switch)

Action adventure game lovers, take note—Game Atelier is doing its best to bring back the style and feel of the classic titles you loved so much from Wonder Boy/Monster World, and they’ve even got the original series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa on board. Really, who knew? We sure didn’t.

In fact, this wasn’t even on the list of our target games to demo, but we stumbled across it on the show floor. The original Monster Boy games were side-scrolling action adventure titles like Zelda II, and this return to the series is similar but different enough to be fresh and intriguing. It’s a tribute, not a remake.

As in any beloved side scrolling adventure title, you’ll be hacking your way through enemies soon into the game, and the control scheme for this instalment felt quite natural and not too flashy. The characters moved well, the fighting was reliable, and your magic abilities work well for ranged attacks.

Because this is Monster Boy, naturally you’re going to have the ability to turn into various monsters, and the demo showed off transformations like pig, frog, and snake. These various critter forms will help you to solve specific puzzles, as you might also expect, but the real stand-out here is the artwork.

Even if the content feels familiar, the artwork is bright, crisp, and fresh. It’s as if your pixelated game suddenly gained a higher resolution—same positioning, sizes, and color scheme, but everything is now crystal clear.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom definitely returns to that classic gaming feel but with modern-day updates, and it works. It could have just as easily gone the other way, but the developers’ love for the original series shines through this project and it’s clear that they were intent on doing the series justice.

This title releases later this year on Nintendo Switch and other systems.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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